The Oakland Raiders have had a disappointing season, injuries and tough losses derailing what was hoped to be a second straight playoff campaign. But that’s nothing on the Denver Broncos, who have lost six straight since their last victory against… the Raiders. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Raiders will win Sunday.
When these teams last met, the AFC West looked like a three-team race, with both the Raiders and Broncos in excellent shape to make waves against the undefeated Chiefs. Since then, both teams have been in a downward spiral, with each failing a coordinator this week in an effort to shake things up. The Broncos turn to third quarterback Paxton Lynch to see if he can provide a spark, while the Raiders look to stabilize their defense to support Derek Carr and the offense. At 4-6, the Raiders have slightly more chance of pulling their season back from the brink than the 3-7 Broncos, but probably best not to think too far ahead: Whoever wins will have needed that victory, bad.
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To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. About 30 NFL fans worked together as a hive mind to make picks. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a little golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. As the users saw the puck move toward a particular outcome, it triggers a psychological response. They readjust their decision-making, building toward a consensus. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk.
Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains. For instance, the swarm went a perfect 7-0 in its most recommended picks for a recent English Premier League slate.
The swarm likes Oakland to win. Though it’s a low confidence pick, there’s a very high 93 percent brainpower behind the prediction.
The hive mind predicts Oakland will win by four to six points, with 85 percent brainpower behind that choice. The Vegas spread currently has the Raiders by five.
The game kicks off 4:25 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.